Men’s professional golf had a weird weekend. The only TVs tuned into the Zurich Classic were likely in pro shops and the living rooms of gamblers, while LIV Adelaide saw a full bottle of water thrown at a caddie and the most famous Australian golfer ever drinking beer out of a shoe and pumping up the crowd the night before the final round. Prizes were awarded and trophy presentations were had, but neither tournament represented the best of what professional golf has to offer.

With reports that negotiations between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and Saudi PIF should begin “fairly soon” (what have they been doing all this time?), the future of LIV and its nontraditional model is increasingly curious to me. Over the last week, Greg Norman said that the league is open to 72-hole events just days before Evin Priest reported on the potential for home team events and night-golf tournaments for the circuit. 

It feels like LIV is at an inflection point in terms of deciding whether to become more serious or to lean further into the unconventional. They love the fan support at LIV Adelaide, but is that kind of event possible in other countries with well-established professional tournaments already lining the landscape? Methinks not.

Regardless of what Sharky and LIV decide to do in the future, this weekend only reinforced my view that there isn’t anything wrong with the traditional 72-hole stroke-play tournament. Alternative formats have their place and can help break up a schedule, but four rounds of non-shotgun start golf has proven to be the best way to identify the best player in a given week. That has to remain the central focus for men’s professional golf, no matter which direction it goes from here.

This piece originally appeared in the Fried Egg Golf newsletter. Subscribe for free and receive golf news and insight every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.